Winter tyres: advice for safe driving - It's time to switch to winter tyres!
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It's time to switch to winter tyres!

Winter tyres Published the 15/10/2013 by Charlotte

Winter is with us. It’s time to change your tyres. Before fitting your winter tyres, check them for any signs of wear. Perhaps it’s time to change them. Don’t forget your snow chains since they may be mandatory at certain times. As for your summer tyres, make sure they are stored properly to find them in perfect condition next summer. Also, remember to adjust the tyre pressure to the temperature.

Car on an autumn road For confident driving, certain precautions need to be taken before winter sets in - Copyright © : iStockphoto.com/rezulteo.com

When should you fit your winter tyres?

Winter tyres are designed to deliver maximum performance when the average temperature drops below 7°C. When should I change them? In temperate countries, a good rule of thumb is when the clocks go back at the end of October. However, in Nordic or Central European countries, winter tyres are fitted earlier. In certain countries, it is even mandatory to fit winter tyres during the coldest weeks.

>> Regulations for the use of winter tyres, snow chains and studded tyres in Europe

>> Reminder of winter tyre regulations in Great Britain

 

Different types of equipment to cope with winter

Winter (or Alpine) tyres, Nordic tyres, studded tyres, all season tyres: There are several types of tyres geared for winter conditions. Each one corresponds to a specific use and weather conditions. Also, regulations and/or weather conditions sometimes require you to have a set of snow chains in the boot.

>> Snow tyre, winter tyre, studded tyre, chains: All the car equipment you need to cope with snow and the cold

 

Perhaps it’s time to change your tyres… 

Before fitting your winter tyres, check their general state. Tread depth, difference in wear between two tyres on the same axle, punctures or deformations: If your tyres show any of these signs, then change them immediately.

>> Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your winter tyres! 

 

Winter driving tips

Winter tyres are much safer on ice and snow covered roads. However, rules for driving in bad weather should not be forgotten. 

 >> Driving in winter 

 

What to do with summer tyres in winter?

To maintain their full potential, summer tyres must be stored properly. Temperature and humidity conditions, storage means: Certain rules must be respected. A practical solution if you are struggling to find space is to store your tyres at a fitting centre. Several retailers offer this service.

>> How to store tyres between two seasons? 

 

Adjust the pressure of winter tyres

Tyre pressure decreases as the temperature drops, so add a few tenths of a bar to the figures specified by the manufacturer. 

>> What tyre pressure in winter?